Masteron: Also known as Drostanolone
How does Masteron work?
Masteron is the brand name for the anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) known as drostanolone propionate. This drug was first developed by Syntex Pharmaceuticals in 1959, but it wasn't manufactured and sold until 1970. Masteron quickly became a popular treatment for breast cancer, showing stellar results in battling advanced stages of the disease (1)(2). And by the 1990s, drostanolone propionate also became popular among bodybuilders who were looking to get the perfect physique before a bodybuilding competition (3).
These days, Masteron is no longer manufactured by major pharmaceutical companies — despite still being an FDA-approved cancer treatment. However, it is still widely used as a cutting drug by bodybuilders, which we'll discuss in depth later.
As for its structure, Masteron is a dihydrotestosterone (DHT) derived steroid, with its defining characteristic being a methyl group added at carbon position 2. This simple alteration allows Masteron to survive metabolic breakdown caused by the 3-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3bHSD) enzyme and offer anabolic results; in contrast, regular DHT is deactivated by the 3bHSD enzyme and produces very little muscle-building results.
Compared to other AAS, drostanolone propionate carries a fairly mild anabolic/androgenic ratio of 62:25; to offer a comparison, testosterone has a ratio of 100:100. This is a big reason Masteron is not a commonly used bulking steroid. Nevertheless, it remains popular among bodybuilders, so it's worth discussing Masteron's benefits, side effects, legality and how to cycle this drug.
What does Masteron do?
One of the most interesting aspects of drostanolone is that it can decrease estrogen in your body. This makes Masteron a popular choice to run alongside other AAS like Anadrol, Deca Durabolin, Dianabol and testosterone, which all aromatize and cause an increase in estrogen. Take a look at what else you can expect when using drostanolone below.
By itself, Masteron is not going to provide you with the same incredible strength boost that drugs like Anadrol, Dianabol and Deca Durabolin will. However, many athletes will see a moderate strength increase, especially when your Masteron dosage is high. Here's an EliteFitness.com thread about Masteron and strength.
While drostanolone is rarely used in the medical community these days, this drug has proven to be a very effective breast cancer treatment (4). However, many companies stopped manufacturing the drug in the 1990s, and doctors now prescribe other medications to cure breast cancer.
Drostanolone is used by many bodybuilders who are preparing for competitions. Masteron has good anti-catabolic properties that allow you to retain muscle and strength while melting body fat before a contest. Many athletes love this "hardening" effect, which gives them a dry, vascular appearance on stage. What's more is that drostanolone propionate will help you get rid of excess water when you're trying to look great for a show.
Gaining Lean Muscle
If you're looking to pack on significant lean muscle, then the Masteron steroid is not a very good choice. However, this isn't to say that drostanolone doesn't offer any anabolic qualities. You will likely gain a moderate amount of lean muscle with this drug, especially when taking it at higher dosages. And what's nice is that, unlike with certain bulking steroids, you'll retain these quality muscle gains after your cycle is finished.
Improved Athletic Performance
Athletes who need to maintain a certain weight sometimes use Masteron to increase their strength and cut body fat. The reason is that drostanolone doesn't cause you to retain water or pack on significant muscle mass. Of course, drostanolone is banned by every major sports organization and can easily be picked up on a steroid test (5)(6). Several prominent mixed martial artists have failed drug tests after taking Masteron, including Anderson Silva, Nick Diaz, and Stephan Bonnar.
Sex hormone-binding globulin (SHBG) binds to testosterone and renders much of it inactive. But Masteron can lower SHBG activity and free up more of your testosterone to help build muscle and burn fat. This is why some athletes like to stack drostanolone along with testosterone to lower SHBG and get more out of their steroid cycles.
Aromatase Inhibitor (to a Degree)
As discussed before, one truly unique aspect of drostanolone is its ability to inhibit estrogen. Given that this drug doesn't aromatize, you won't need to worry about estrogen-related side effects like gynecomastia (man boobs), water retention and high body fat. What's more is that you can also stack Masteron with other aromatizing steroids like Deca Durabolin and testosterone to reduce their estrogenic effects. However, it should be stressed that drostanolone is not a suitable replacement for normal aromatase inhibitors like Arimidex and Aromasin.
Masteron Side Effects
One great thing about drostanolone propionate is that causes fewer side effects than most AAS. We already covered how you don't need to worry about gynecomastia or water bloating with this drug. You also won't have to worry about harm or stress to your liver when taking Masteron. However, there are still some Masteron side effects that you need to know about, which we'll discuss below.
Acne and Hair Loss
Like many DHT-derived steroids, drostanolone can cause androgenic side effects like acne, hair loss and body hair growth. Of course, much of this depends upon if you are predisposed to these problems in the first place. So if you have issues with acne and hair loss before steroid use, you'll have to be even more cautious when taking this drug. And unfortunately, you can't simply use a 5-alpha reductase inhibitor like Finasteride to combat the problem. As you may know, the 5-alpha reductase enzyme breaks testosterone down into DHT; but since Masteron is already DHT, the 5-alpha reductase enzyme doesn't come into play here.
Another side effect that you should be aware of is heightened aggression. Some athletes, such as MMA fighters and powerlifters, like this, increased aggression to give them an edge in competition. However, if it doesn't take much to make you angry off cycle, then Masteron is a risky choice for you.
Lower Natural Testosterone
Drostanolone will cause a decrease in your body's natural testosterone production after a steroid cycle. At low doses, you might not notice this effect and your libido won't take a hit. However, at the bodybuilding doses that many athletes use, testosterone suppression becomes more noticeable. The problem is worse when you stack Masteron with other AAS, which bodybuilders commonly do. In any case, you should undergo proper post-cycle therapy following the use of drostanolone.
Poor Cholesterol Levels and Elevated Blood Pressure
It's wise to be in good shape before using drostanolone since it has a negative impact on your cholesterol levels. This is especially the case with HDL (good) cholesterol, which can drop quite a bit when using Masteron; your LDL (bad) cholesterol can rise too, although this change may not be as significant. Also, be aware that your blood pressure can increase as well, which is just another reason you want to be in good health. A solid general guideline is to be at least 10-12% body fat before using Masteron and other steroids.
Can Women use Masteron?
Considering that drostanolone is fairly androgenic, it's not the top choice for women because it can cause virilization (male sexual characteristics). However, this isn't to say that Masteron is the worst choice for ladies, especially when used at doses ranging from 50mg-100mg per week. And given that drostanolone propionate is a short-ester drug, it can clear a woman's system quickly if heavy virilization sets in.
Most bodybuilders don't recommend that you run a Masteron only cycle because it's not an extremely strong compound in itself. Instead, many people like to add drostanolone towards the end of a steroid cycle as a "finisher." But this isn't to say that you absolutely can't do a Masteron only cycle, so we'll discuss a couple ofdifferent options below.
Another aspect to consider here is that there are two main esters of drostanolone — the propionate and enanthate esters. Masteron propionate is the shorter-acting of the two drugs, and it can begin producing noticeable fat-loss and muscle-hardening results within as little as a week. As for drostanolone enanthate (a.k.a. Masteron enanthate), this compound typically takes around three weeks to "kick in." Here's an EliteFitness thread on Masteron enanthate and when you can expect to see noticeable results.
How to take Masteron
If you're new to AAS, then a safe Masteron dosage is 400mg per week; however, some athletes find that they get the best results with at least 600mg. As for your injection schedule, this all depends on if you're using Masteron prop or enanthate. Drostanolone prop is injected every other day while Masteron enanthate is injected 1-2 times per week. The ester that you use all depends on your preference, but just keep in mind that you'll be injecting far more often with Masteron propionate versus Masteron enanthate. Here's more on what Masteron dosage you should be using.
The half-life for Masteron propionate is around 2.5 days while the Masteron enanthate half-life is 5-6 days. This large difference in half-lives is why your injection schedule will vary for both esters of the drug.
Masteron PCT and Ancillaries
Whether you use Masteron alone or stack it with other AAS, it's important to undergo PCT afterward. Nolvadex and Clomid are the two standard drugs that bodybuilders use to help recover their natural testosterone production following a cycle. Here's a look at a standard 4-week PCT following drostanolone:
Clomid (daily dose each week): 50mg/50mg/25mg/25mg
Nolvadex (daily dose each week): 40mg/40mg/20mg/20mg
During your Masteron cycle, you'll also need ancillaries to minimize the side effects. To keep your cholesterol levels within a healthy range, you can use fish oil, Psyllium or soy protein. Using an extreme testosterone booster like Test Stack No. 17 will help keep your libido high both on cycle and in PCT. As covered before, you don't need an aromatase inhibitor (A.I.) with Masteron because it doesn't aromatize. However, if you stack drostanolone with other steroids, then you might need an A.I. (depending on the other drugs).
Sample Masteron Cycles
Drostanolone is most commonly stacked with other AAS to get more gains out of an anabolic steroid cycle. However, some bodybuilders might still run a Masteron only cycle just to harden their physique before a competition. That said, let's cover two different Masteron cycles that are based on comments in the same EF forum thread:
Masteron Enanthate and Testosterone Enanthate Cycle
Ancillaries: Not specified
Masteron Only Cycle
400-500mg (150mg taken EOD)
PCT: Weeks 12-15
Masteron vs. Primobolan
Two steroids that are often compared are Masteron and Primobolan (a.k.a. primo) because they're both DHT-based and share many traits. Specifically, they don't aromatize, they have tolerable side effects and are both considered cutting steroids. Moving to the differences, drostanolone only comes in injectable form while primo is found in both oral and injectable form. Another big difference is that Masteron is typically used as a cycle finisher, but primo is used throughout the entire cycle. Finally, Primobolan is considered a safer option for women because it causes less virilization than Masteron.Here's more on the Masteron vs. Primobolan debate.
Masteron vs. Winstrol
Another drug that drostanolone compares to is Winstrol, with both being DHT-derived compounds that are popular in cutting cycles. However, one key difference between the two is that Winstrol is a more versatile drug, providing both fat-loss and anabolic results. But you also have to consider that Winstrol can deliver worse side effects, such as joint problems, major hair loss, and liver toxicity. In contrast, Masteron side effects aren't nearly as harsh as Winstrol. Plus, many love drostanolone's ability to give you a hard, vascular physique. See more on the Winstrol vs. Masteron comparison here.
Is Masteron Legal?
Despite being one of the milder anabolic steroids out there regarding side effects, drostanolone is illegal in most countries. In the United States, for example, it's listed as a Schedule III drug and the maximum penalty for possession is a $250,000 fine and three years in prison. Of course, this is only possible if you're tried in a federal courtroom, but it's still worth knowing the harshest penalty.
There are some countries where you can legally buy Masteron, assuming you can find it in a pharmacy. Bulgaria, Greece, Mexico, Turkey and several Asian countries have pharmacies where you can buy anabolic steroids without a prescription. But other than this, drostanolone is usually purchased on the black market, which we'll discuss below.
Where to buy Masteron
Masteron all but disappeared from the bodybuilding scene at one time because pharmacies stopped manufacturing it. During this time, drostanolone was a very expensive black-market drug that was mainly used by bodybuilders in preparation for a contest — hence its reputation as a contest steroid. But Masteron has made a comeback and is now widely used among bodybuilders today.
However, it's worth mentioning that you need to be careful when you buy Masteron online. This is one of the more-counterfeited bodybuilding drugs out there, meaning you should buy from a trusted source that's been in business for a while. So do your research and figure out which UGLs are selling legitimate Masteron before trying to purchase it.
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